When I wrote in my previous ratings post that “we can break that 6 million mark this season, perhaps sooner rather than later” I definitely did not dare hoping for such numbers already for the premiere. Not only was six million reached, but well exceeded, and the number of viewers was higher by more than a million compared to the previous high-water mark the show has set. No wonder that HBO Go crashed on the premiere day!
In terms of comparison with other shows, we can now establish that we have firmly left the heyday numbers of True Blood far behind. The premiere episode was also the most tweeted about episode in the history of HBO. As far as average viewership per episode across all platforms is concerned, the updated season three numbers show that Game of Thrones is now level with the most successful HBO show ever, The Sopranos, at 14.4 million (reached during their season four). The current GoT season is well off to breaking even this record, so keep that number in mind.
Winter(Phil) tweeted this helpful post as an illustration of how people will flock to complex and challenging tv over time.
#GameofThrones premiere numbers: Season 1 – 2.22M Season 2 – 3.86M Season 3 – 4.37M Season 4 – 6.60M
— Phil Bicking (@p_Red) April 7, 2014
Due to rounding when first revealed by EW, the exact number of first-hour viewers as now reported stands even higher, at 6.64 million. The curve certainly is steep, and shocking end-season events appear to be very helpful when attracting new people to the show between seasons. Sounds logical. Comparing season finales to next season openers, reveals that the transition from S1 to S2 upped the numbers by almost a million, S2 to S3 remained about level, while the latest transition added well over one million viewers. Such are the effects of red weddings. Let us hope that the numbers don’t drop much next week; at least in previous seasons that has not been the case.
Can we climb even higher this year? No doubt. S1 added 0.8 million over its course from the premiere to the finale, S2 0.4 million, and S3 1.0 million, roughly speaking. Next stop, 7 million? All bets are off. There is plently of exciting content this year that will make the season popular. Expect updated comparison graphics halfway through the season as usual.